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Benson Hill Names Business Development And Intellectual Property Executives

By atomic

September 8, 2014


St. Louis, MO and Research Triangle Park, NC – September 8, 2014 – Today Benson Hill , an agricultural biotechnology company focused on increasing crop yield, announced that it has further strengthened its executive team with the appointments of Andy Renz as Vice President of Business Development and Murray Spruill as Vice President of Intellectual Property. Renz and Spruill, both plant scientists by training, are accomplished practitioners with more than 35 years of collective experience in business and law.

“It is a pleasure to join BHB,” commented Dr. Renz. “My career has focused on the business and the science of increasing crop yield, and evaluating technologies to meet this goal. The next generation of traits will be realized using the approaches that Benson Hill is employing, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to be a part of it.”

Dr. Renz joins Benson Hill from BASF Plant Science, where he has served in leadership roles for more than a decade in technology evaluation and business development. Prior to joining the business team, he managed a lab at BASF focused on metabolic engineering in plants. Andy earned his Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry and Physiology from the University of Bayreuth in Germany, and completed his postdoctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology.

“The landscape of agricultural biotechnology is evolving rapidly,” said Murray Spruill. “Benson Hill has built a promising technology platform and is well positioned to innovate and add significant value to agriculture. I look forward to continuing my work with the Benson Hill team in-house, and to further developing the company’s IP strategy and portfolio.”

Dr. Spruill joins Benson Hill after starting and co-leading the life sciences practice at Alston & Bird, LLP for more than 15 years. A plant physiologist by training, he has developed patent portfolios for large and small agricultural biotechnology companies and helped guide products to market. Prior to working at Alston & Bird, he was with Ciba-Geigy Corporation where he helped navigate the first transgenic seed to market. He has a Ph.D. in Genetics from North Carolina State University and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.

About Benson Hill

Benson Hill is an agricultural biotechnology company focused on the development of traits to increase intrinsic crop yield. The company employs an integrated, systems-based approach to trait discovery and validation, and has developed a robust pipeline of next-generation trait candidates. Benson Hill and its partners are dedicated to addressing the foremost challenge in sustainable production agriculture – boosting crop yields on existing acreage and with limited inputs.
More information can be found at

For additional information, please send an email to [email protected].


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